How to Be a Good Gift Giver

While the pandemic has definitely thrown a wrench into the holiday season and our Christmas celebrations, it might actually make us all really great gift givers this year! Why’s that? Well, isolation and tight budgets can give us that extra push to get creative with our gifting, and we all have a little extra time on our hands to figure out exactly with our loved ones will enjoy.

Whether you’ve all been cooped up together, or you feel like you haven’t seen your friends and family members at all this year, we think it’s the perfect moment to look beyond the usual standard gifts and create fun, new experiences for you to enjoy together. Even though plenty of experiential gifts are off the table, there’s still so much out there to do.

So, how can you be a better gift giver this year? Create an experience, in person or virtually, that lets you enjoy each other’s company in fresh, new ways. Here on the Cratejoy Marketplace, we have plenty of boxes that bring hands-on experiences right to the front door. From drink kits to DIY boxes, the gifts you give can create moments to remember! Along with our idea-packed Holiday Gift Shop, we’ve got collections of gift boxes that offer a great jumping-off point to finding that perfect gift!

It's The Thought That Counts

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What is it that defines a good gift from a bad gift? Well, there’s really not a straightforward answer on this. If you do a little thought experiment and think back to when you gave a really good gift, what was it about that gift in particular? Was it the gift itself, the way you gave it, or did it have something to do with the timing of the gift? Oftentimes, it’s a combination of these things.

Of course, the relationship between the giftee and the gifter can factor into your best gift-giving (or receiving) experience. While a gift card might be a really impactful gift for your teenage niece or nephew, it might not be as well-received by your significant other –– or at least not make it into the "best gift ever" status. Here, thought and intention go a long way. Instead of gifting them something off their wish list, why not spend some quality time in the kitchen side by side with a cooking or baking box? You can go on a culinary adventure with SpiceBreeze, whip up a decadent dessert with Whisk Takers, or even make it fun for kids to eat their veggies with a gift to the Veggie Buds Club!

Make It About More Than Just a Moment

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Gift-giving research (yes, it’s a science!) shows that gift givers can get really hung up on the moment of the gift being unwrapped, sometimes even investing more thought into that moment of delight than they put into the gift itself. But gift recipients aren’t all that impressed with sparkly wrapping paper and frilly bows, unless what’s inside is either practical, desired or just really cool.

In short, for a gift to be a good one, it has to go beyond that initial moment of giving. One idea that can help you be one of the best gift givers out there is to treat your loved ones to DIY subscription boxes. With so many to choose from, DIY boxes can hit all the right notes, providing year-round practicality and fun. Catering to all types of interests and skill levels, there are gifts to help budding seamstresses refine their sewing, like IndieStitch, or gifts that make sure families create lasting memories, like Together Unplugged.

Avoid the Urge to Splurge

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Since this year has been financially difficult for so many, we wanted to offer a little reminder that good gifts don’t always come bearing the highest price tags. Those who love you most won’t fault you for setting a strict budget and sticking to it! That goes for last-minute buyers, too. Sometimes when we leave something down to the wire, we end up going overboard to compensate for our own feelings of failure. But there’s no need to do that, because the best gifts aren’t about how much was spent or when the gift was purchased.

Craft and activity subscriptions for adults are an affordable way to gift hands-on experiences to those you love. Crated with Love can deliver a monthly, budget-friendly date night all about love, laughter, and togetherness, for less than the price of dinner and a movie for two. In fact, with monthly subscription boxes, you can send an affordable gift that teaches everything from lettering (The Inky Box) to how to make greeting cards (The Paper Crate). And if there’s not enough time to get it there before Christmas, print out a special holiday gift certificate that will let them know their special activity is on the way!

Creative Connections

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As much as this holiday season is serving up many challenges, it’s also throwing out big opportunities to shake things up by giving a gift that can bring everyone together in a whole new way. Since many of us are likely doing fewer and smaller gatherings, and not spending a lot of time in close proximity, it’s time to go all out and get creative when making our holiday connections this year.

When it comes to being a thoughtful gift giver, sometimes it’s all about going out on a limb. Think of how your best friends and family typically celebrate the holidays and reimagine those moments. If your crew typically gathers at one house for Christmas and the festivities linger until the new year has arrived, mixology boxes are a unique gift idea that can play an important role in your merrymaking this year.

Instead of individual gifts for everyone on your list, send a gift box like Shaker & Spoon out to each household with an invitation to join you on Zoom for a New Year’s celebration. Now, your family and friends can still enjoy a proper first night event, complete with craft cocktails and convos. Not cocktail drinkers? Club Cuvée from He Wines, She Dines can serve up the celebratory bubbly so that you can all kiss 2020 goodbye together –– a very good gift indeed!